Friday, July 24, 2015

Tips to be star blogger- WORDUP meet, Gurgaon

Strikers Pub
My blog server was down with flu I guess, which refrained me from writing my experience about the awesome bloggers meet, powered by Big Rock and dot me. The flu part is believable because it was pouring throughout the day on the day of the meet, and many bloggers could not make it to the event at Strikers Pub, Gurgaon.

Pertaining to scanty footfall and thin attendance, the event scheduled for 9am began at eleven. A nice breakfast and networking with new bloggers was the best way to begin a Saturday. Team Big Rock did a tremendous job of organizing a smooth event and bringing on stage a handful of people who shared useful insights on blogging and digital media.

Veteran advertising expert and Chief Creative Officer of SapientNitro India, Mr. K.V. Sridhar enlightened us with his industry experience and the dynamic changes of the advertising industry. His words of advice- Be innovative, be honest (do not copy) and engage readers. Gone are the days of conventional advertising which had ruled the media once. 360 degree approach is today’s need, including digital media. Every word of the gentleman struck my grey matter and I kept begging for his presentation slides from Big Rock throughout the event. Ok, this reminds me, where are the slides Big Rock? L I am still waiting!!!!!
Mr. Bhatt
A short but very useful session with Lakshmipathy Bhatt proved to be an eye opener. His speech scared me; actually taught me to furnish disclaimers, image source and credit on our blogs, lest it should raise legal implications.

Just before lunch Nandita Iyer took the stageIyer is a Bangalore based food writer & columnist; who blogs at Saffron Trail. A cheerful lady who almost spoke nonstop on the stage was fun to listen to. She listed out the do’s and don’ts for bloggers including “Be consistent, focus on quality and educate yourself”. Following her words of wisdom, I immediately changed my profile picture across all platforms to one similar picture (Facebook, FB page, twitter, blog, G+). “Keep updating your blog often” she advised. But my blog server had rendered me disabled then.

Among other speakers were Vishal Shroff from Google, journalist Kiran Manral, founder of Indian Eye org Arun Nair and motor journalist Rachit Hirani who answered blogger’s queries and shared useful tips on the digital media world.

My favorite speaker among all was Ashish Chopra, an award winning viral video
marketer who works at I wish I had half as his energy! A jovial, super creative and fantastic person, he scribbles ideas whenever they strike. Any idea is not stupid. If executed creatively, it can get lot of attention. His videos made at the right time got him millions of viewers and subscribers in past one year. Man! I salute his ideas and the way he is progressing with digital content. Watch his captivating videos on youtube at

Let me sum up what I garnered from the experts’ sessions-
  1. Never write for charity. Your work goes unnoticed and hard work goes waste.
  2. Mention disclaimers in your blog. You never know when you get a legal notice from the content owner (be it a picture, video or text)
  3. Be consistent & frequent in updating your blog. You need to make time. Blogging is a serious business after all. Schedule your posts if you can.
  4. Write on relevant trending topics and hit the nail. Example Poonam Pandey released her yoga video right around Yoga Day (irrespective the content) or Ashish Copra made his toll tax video right when Delhi Gurgaon Toll closure was announced.  Timeliness is the key hence.
  5. Read other blogs. Just like a good speaker should be a good listener, similarly a good blogger should read others’ blogs. It educates you, helps you know what’s trending and gets you connected to them.
  6. In blogging events, one should talk, share and network. No point sitting in one corner. Knowing other bloggers is as important as writing.
  7. Keep your profile picture and description the same across all social platforms, because that’s your identity. (I did mine on the day of this meet. 11th July marks as a golden day of enlightenment :)
  8. Keep yourself educated and updated with latest news. Else you cannot be creative.
  9. Always leave comments on others blog. That’s the biggest appreciation for bloggers and best way to network too!
  10. Have interesting pictures or videos in your blog to make it interesting. People keep away from boring blogs or too much text with interesting visuals.
  11. Always caption your blog with a catchy headline.
  12. Use keywords diligently. Remember your blog will be searched via keywords. Better the search words, higher is the visibility of your blog.
  13. Go for blog giveaways. It drives traffic and brings loyal readers!
  14. Make your blog your work portfolio. Nothing better than your hobby turning into profession.
  15. Take your blog to a website domain if possible. You are the owner of your blog and you need to ensure that it is maintained and updated like your own property. When a blog server is down, you constantly lose your visitors. A domain will not be down like blog. 
Did I miss anything from the event? Yes, stand up comedy which went awry and scrumptious lunch served at Strikers Pub. It has been the best Indiblogger event I attended so far!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pudina Raita: Digestive Agent

Indian cuisine is known for the spices that add taste and aroma to food. Pudina or mint leaves is one of them. This herb is easily available at vegetable vendors and distinguishes itself from others with its refreshing aroma & small leaves.

Pudina is known to cure bad breath, cough, throat congestion, acne/pimples, respiratory disorders and digestion (Remember Pudin Hara?). High content of antioxidants and vitamins in Mint makes it popular in every cuisine, globally. Sharing a refreshing recipe of pudina, which is healthy and super easy.
  • Bunch of mint leaves, coriander leaves (optional)
  • Medium sized onion, tomato
  • Black pepper, black salt, sugar
Preparation time- 5 minutes
  1. Wash the bunch of mint leaves and cut off the roots. Separate the leaves and finely chop them.
  2. Finely chop a medium sized onion. Chop a medium tomato as well (optional)
  3. Beat curd in large bowl with water. Add one third teaspoon of black pepper and half teaspoon of black salt or rock salt for taste and pinch of sugar
  4. Mix pudina leaves and chopped onion/tomato in whipped curd. Garnish with coriander leaves if you like. (Many people don’t like coriander leaves. One of them being my husband)
Tip- If you don't like onion in curd, you can grate or fine chop cucumber instead of onion. Cucumber is another cooling agent which refreshes and hydrates you body. Opt for fat free or curd made of toned milk.
This cool curd raita is a nice appetizer, cures digestion and leaves you refreshing. A simple, zero cholesterol dish is ready in 5 minutes only!!!!